15 / 05 / 15

Benefits of working with a professional designer

I was contacted recently by an enthusiastic young man, a skilled tradesmen who’d put in many hours to gain valuable experience and now wanted to set up a new company with a vision for the future. Obviously he required a new identity to get things underway. He had approached a signage company, van livery was an important element of his business, and they ‘created’ a logo for his new vision. He was, not surprisingly, underwhelmed by the result but savvy enough to realise that, good sign makers as they were, they weren’t designers. He understood the importance of a strong cohesive identity and was willing to invest in it. I was impressed, not everyone get’s it.

There are several DIY approaches with predictable results:

  • The start-up who’s best mate draws a bit. mmm
  • The boss who likes to be 100% involved. Oh dear
  • The online, off-the-shelf, add your name here approach. Hoh hum
  • The office computer whiz kid dabbler. Groovy man, but…

Yes the computer is a great tool that most people can use but it is just that a tool; no substitute for vision, experience, empathy and understanding not to mention creativity. Graphic design is not a hobby, it’s a profession.

Many people think that hiring a designer/agency is an expensive an unnecessary outlay, here’s a few benefits to think about:

Interpreting your vision

A good designer is not just someone who can draw a bit and do the nice colouring-in on the iMAC. Instead they take the time to understand the culture of your business, drill down to who your target market is and work with you to develop a strategy to reach out to that market.

Reflecting your business

I’ve come across many clients who have admitted that they are embarrassed to hand out their business card and reticent about sending customers to their terrible website. That's just crazy. All your marketing materials should be the best they can be, that doesn’t mean expensive, it means being designed appropriately. Do they reflect you, project your company’s values when you’re not there to sell it yourself and speak directly to your audience? No? They should.

Doing it once and doing it right

There’s been many times when I too have been guilty of thinking “That’s an easy fix, what’s so difficult, I can do that, save the pennies” The leaking tap, hanging wallpaper, putting up the shelves - again all with predictable results. I’m not a plumber, decorator or joiner. I’ve no experience, not industry trained and the best I can hope for is a mediocre job that has to be redone. Yup should have got a professional in the first place.

Creating the right impression - consistently

A professional designer won’t just come up with the logo, their expertise will determine how it’s used through a suite of marketing materials: in print, online, signage as well as a developing a strategy for colour and typography. A professional will reinforce your brand identity with a consistency that your customers recognise, helping to build essential confidence and trust. In this fast moving world you only get one opportunity to make an impression - make it the right one.

All said and done, a professional designer should save you time, money, grief and increase sales – seems a no-brainer. So next time your best mate’s half cousin offers to design your logo, think carefully and invest wisely. Because you're worth it!

Design is where science and art break even

Robin Mathew